Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks for 2011!

I love Thanksgiving. Not just because of all the carbs that I get to consume tomorrow, not just because it signifies the start of the holiday season, but also because of what the day does to people. It gets friends and families to reevaluate their lives - to find and celebrate things for which they are truly grateful. I love getting on Facebook and Twitter to see all the status updates that celebrate the best things in our lives.

In the spirit of my favorite tradition, I am celebrating five of my favorite debut novels of 2011 (in no particular order, as they are all equally awesome).

1. FURY by Elizabeth Miles

I think Ms. Miles must have inadvertently brushed shoulders with Stephen King, because she shares his mastery of atmosphere. I have never been so freaked out by the noises of a radiator - and that was only in the first few pages! I also love that FURY dares us to like - and even come to love - characters with real flaws.

2. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

This one is worth all the glowing praise it has received. Not only does this dystopian get your heart-pounding, but it also REALLY makes you think about human nature. This book decidedly earns its place on the shelves next to 1984 and THE GIVER.

3. THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern

Perhaps it's now trite to say this, but this book truly is magical. As one of my friends so aptly put it, I'm sad that I don't get to read this for the first time again. Give yourself a pre-Christmas treat and READ THIS NOW!!


Mmmmm...Noah Shaw. This one is twisty and weird and uncategorizable and oh so good.

5. THE REVENANT by Sonia Gensler

I've intentionally NOT listed my good writing-buddies' books for fear of showing favoritism. (Even though their books are truly great, including STARCROSSED by Josephine Angelini and DIE FOR ME by Amy Plum). But I just have to give thanks for a book like Sonia's. THE REVENANT is a classic Gothic in the vein of JANE EYRE, and set in Oklahoma. This one is fascinating, meticulously researched, and just plain good.

Thank you to all five debut authors for making 2011 the year of excellent reads!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Real-Deal ARISE cover

The second book in the HEREAFTER series come out on June 5, 2012 and I couldn't be more excited. ARISE not only exemplifies all that I've learned as a writer and plotter, but it also raises the stakes for Amelia & Joshua. Plus, it's set in New Orleans - my favorite city on earth, no exaggeration - which just makes everything all the better!

The early version of the ARISE cover started floating around on the interwebbies a few weeks ago and has already garnered some much-deserved buzz. Cause, um, it's freaking BEA-U-TIFUL, right? But the final version, below, is even better. So...signed ARC of ARISE to the first person who can tell me the difference between the ARISE cover image floating around out there, and the one below. It's like the "find the differences" Highlights Magazine game, but much prettier and sexier. :)